Salmond judgment under question in second deception on EU membership

The core issue arising from Alex Salmond’s deceptive presentation of a letter on Scottish membership of the EU at yesterday’s First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood is less about the act of deception than about the First Minister’s judgment.

Having already been shown to have told a direct lie on national television about having legal advice on this same matter – and seriously undermined his credibility in so doing – this was one issue on which the First Minister should have known beyond doubt that he could not afford a second dodgy swerve.

But he couldn’t help it.

And of course someone realised that the letter he had brandished in the chamber and subtly suggested had come to him, had in fact been on some SNP website in response to a general enquiry by a person unknown – and printed off for the occasion.

Mr Salmond is known as a practised gambler [on the gee gees]. This instinct to take a punt and hope it comes off is clearly central to his personality.

In sober reality, all of the evidence demonstrates that the First Minister is taking another such punt on persuading people to vote Yes in next September’s independence referendum, using whatever arguments and offers he thinks will do the trick – regardless of whether the arguments have any substance or the offers are affordable and deliverable.

In his direct lie to Andrew Neil on having legal advice on Scottish membership of the EU, it emerged that Mr Salmond had not even asked for such advice – but was nevertheless spending public money on a high level legal action to protect the confidentiality of advice that did not exist to be protected.

That is hard evidence on just how far the First Minister is prepared to go and that he is prepared to risk everything to win.

This time, the wording the First Minister used for his sleight of hand flourish in Parliament is an object lesson in his modus operandi.

‘I have  a letter’, he declaimed, thrusting it high in the air, ‘from the EU Head of Unit….’

The inference was this was a letter sent to him directly b a senior officer in the EU.

As we now know, the situation was comically different.

But, literally, Mr Salmond did indeed ‘have a letter’ – in his hand.

Every word the First Minister says needs to be carefully decoded with this model in mind. Mr Salmond is not someone to whom a straight bat has any attraction. He is the classic fly boy. Caveat emptor.

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154 Responses to Salmond judgment under question in second deception on EU membership

  1. NEWSIE
    Remember this– any plans to follow it ?
    Please use the following as your benchmark
    EDITORS CODE
    1
    Accuracy
    i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
    ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance.
    iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
    iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 23

  2. Both of the actions by Mr Salmond referred to here – one direct lie, one deception – took place in full view on television and are incontrovertible.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 29 Thumb down 32

    • Has for argyll printed lies and allegations that were incontrovertible?

      EDITORS CODE
      1
      Accuracy
      i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
      ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance.
      iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
      iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 16

    • Mr Salmond did not lie on television and as the letter was in the public domain already there was no deception.

      Desperate stuff to deflect from serious debate about the future of Scotland.

      I have had a faint hope over the past few weeks that Lynda Henderson was taking a fairer and more balanced line but i see that I was mistaken.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 13

      • The television recording shows the First Minister responding with the word ‘Yes’ – to the direct question from Andrew Neil on whether or not Mr Salmond was in possession of legal advice on Scottish membership of the EU.
        In any definition of lying, this is unequivocal – since the First Minister not only did NOT have such advice. He had not even asked for it.
        The recent scam with the letter is also on the television record. It is naive or deluded to claim that this was anything other than an intended deception.
        There is nothing unfair or unbalanced about an absolute recoil from chicanery and deception – from anyone.
        Our political class is diseased in this way already, in Westminster and in Holyrood.
        We would not vote to lumber a newborn Scotland with this sleazy, tricksy old-fashioned way of conducting political affairs.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 26

        • It is naive or deluded to claim that this was anything other than an intended deception.

          From the BBC website:

          The SNP later released a statement from John Lind, secretary of the SNP’s Aberdeen Central branch, who said he secured the letter from European Commission official Mario Tenreiro.

          He said: “I was very pleased to receive this letter from the European Commission which makes it perfectly clear that Scotland can negotiate its position from within the European Union, and equally pleased that the first minister referred to it at First Minister’s Questions.

          “It is absolutely right that such information is in the public domain. It reflects the expert opinion on the subject and indeed common sense, which is no doubt why the opposition parties don’t like it.”

          He insisted: “The letter is genuine, Scotland is a European nation and will become an independent European member state in March 2016, after we vote Yes next September.”

          So the letter was sent to a member of the SNP and subsequently published on the pro-independence Newsnet Scotland website before the First Minister made a copy.

          I’m sorry, but I can’t see where the deception was, other than in Lynda Henderson’s mind.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 8

        • You fail to give the full text of what Mr Salmond said. He sad “Yes, in terms of the debate”. And so he had. The Scottish Government’s lawyers had given advice on the wording of the Government’s publications relating to EU membership. Are you denying this to be the case? The answer unfortunately led to confusion because it was interpreted by those with an axe to grind, such as yourself, that he was referring to legal advice from the Lord Advocate, whereas he was not. Alex Salmond at no time in the Scottish Parliament gave any hint that he was in possession of such legal advice from the Lord Advocate or even whether or not he had sought it. This is the normal and correct procedure. Mr Salmond referred himself to be investigated if he had breached any rules on conduct and that enquiry concluded that he had done nothing wrong albeit his answer to Andrew Neil was open to confused interpretation.

          As to the letter from the EU, as this was already in the public domain and well known about, how on earth could that be deception? Mr Salmond did not at any point claim or even hint that the letter had been sent to the Scottish Government. What mattered was the content of the letter – something that is highly inconvenient to unionists.

          I’m sure Mr Salmond isn’t perfect but he has a much higher credibility with regard to the truth than you seem to have.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 7

        • haha … newsie still using answer(s) to the leading questions of that muppet Andrew Neil out of context as evidence … laughable … especially as real deceptions on EU are coming from Westminster’s BT poodle.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 10

          • Hello Integrity
            Yes, Labour’s shifting back to more familiar, less self-serving politics is an expectation of many I encounter should we set off on our re-designing journey.
            It will make for politics in Scotland we haven’t witnessed for decades, whethr it will transform this country into one that compares to other more successful in terms of equality, a hugely important and influential aim, few of us can be certain of.
            I relish the day parties such as the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour are forced to up their game, to re-write their policies in order to match the Scottish electorate’s aspirations.
            I know it won’t sit well with some of the climate change sceptics on here but post ‘YES’ I would not discount too a rise in popularity of the Scottish Greens, their party certainly not lacking in visionary forward thinking and sustainable policies with fairness and equality at their core imo.
            The beauty of this referendum on our future, contrary to some of the ‘Lets get this referendum over and done with and deal with real issues” talk, is that it has invigorated society’s interest in the matters, the processes and mechanisms that have a direct impact on it, on us all as individuals and collectively.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

          • It is noticeable that Andrew Neil, although well known to be a Tory, adopts a neutral attitude in all his political programmes EXCEPT when it comes to the issue of Scottish independence.

            For some reason he thinks it acceptable to adopt the position of a combatant and his own opinion is absolutely clear.

            This is just another example of disgraceful BBC flouting of its own charter.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

          • But, JPJ2, Andrew Neil’s not a ‘BBC hack’, and not only does he like stirring a debate, he also can’t resist sticking the needle into his regular companions on ‘This Week’. I wait for the day when he gets the ‘feedback’ he deserves.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

        • Vote ‘NO’ to prevent Scotland’s parliament, politicians and people having full powers to shape this country’s future.
          Why?
          Here’s one of Newsies reasons
          “Our political class is diseased in this way already, in Westminster and in Holyrood”
          So it’s fine to have a dishonest shower of gravy train hitch hikers decide policy for our country (Scotland) but not as you claim the equivalent in Holyrood!
          Btw, I had no idea Newsnet Scotland was “some SNP website”. Here was me believing it to be what is obviously a pro-Yes website? Two, although related, different things.
          Yet another attempt to portray independence as a choice between voting for the SNP and the status quo when it is a constitutional choice, one of an independent Scotland with several Scotland focused parties shaping Scotland’s future or leaving our future in charge of those who’s priorities most certainly do not centre around Scotland’s best interests.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

          • You touch upon a point that interests me JnrTick.

            Let us imagine the YES vote wins – easier for some of you than others!

            The short to medium term future of the new Scottish political spectrum becomes interesting. Little doubt that the SNP and Labour would remain the two biggest parties. However Labour would no longer having the Westminster tie and, arguably, would be wise to move back to being a centre left party rather than the centre right party it betrayed member of its supporters by moving to under Tony Blair.

            I could personally see a new Scottish Labour being positioned as more of a left wing party than the SNP.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    • Once again I post newsies quoted policy : “We have to understand and live by the principle of objective fairness.”

      Is english your first language newsie – or would you like a word by word translation?

      I am tempted to cease to comment any more on newsie’s hypocrisy – it goes without saying from now on that any of her articles on Independence are completely biased garbage. Maybe we could just abbreviate comments to “CBG”.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

    • And you do realise that the letter in question was sent to the Scottish Government on the day prior to it being published on a website?

      As an aside, to suggest the website is an SNP website because it supports the notion of Scottish sovereignty would be akin to suggesting forargyll is a Better Together mouthpiece because it opposes the concept.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      • I’m not sure of what consequence it is that newnetscotland sent the letter – the point is that Mr Salmond has effectively admitted drawing policy decisions or guidance from a wholly random source!

        In term of nns scotland not being a mouthpiece for the SNP, I would possibly agree except that you’ll not find any contributors criticising the SNP, not matter what. In fact, it could be argued that they go out their way to put a positive spin on otherwise SNP-credibility damaging stories.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

        • So is the Telegraph or the Mail now a Conservative newspaper because they hasn’t been known to criticise the Conservative Party and frequently put a positive light on their policies?

          It’s one thing to describe it as a nationalist leaning news site, but another to suggest there’s an affiliation which does not exist.

          As to where the letter was sent from, why should that matter. Shouldn’t the public be encouraged to be involved in the political process? If I uncover something and pass it on to politicians because it’s important, should they not use it? I note that the leader of the Labour Party hasn’t been shy to use letters from the general public as the basis for her questions in the Scottish Parliament.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

          • In short Russell, yes, you could take it that the Telegraph, oft referred to on newnetscotland by posters as the ‘Torygraph’is a Conservative paper, and that by the same token Newsnetscotland is an SNP site.

            The day that NNS start treating the SNP like any other party, holding them to account and highlighting their flaws, that will be the day I believe they are not an SNP mouthpiece.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  3. It was a fairly amateur stunt by the FM and played right into the hands of his opponent. ‘Government by Google’as Lamont called it.

    H2O, you might feel newsroom has been guilty of this before but this does look like deflection. Are you fine with the First Minister’s cheap stunt?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 23

    • H20 gives the impression of being ‘fine’ with the FM full stop, and any criticism is by definition anathema.
      Reminds me of that archive news clip outside a house in south London, with one of the Maoist commune women scowling at the press and accusing them of being fascists.
      Isn’t it a great game, politics, if you don’t weaken, H20?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 25

    • Integrity
      Folk will arrive at their own conclusions on this — some have made their mind up already
      Merely asking snowy white For argyll if they have told lies and allegations that have proved wrong– something I have asked for months. Ms Henderson or Mr Dixon- Spain have never responded once to this or said sorry to those who were impacted directely the false allegations over such issues as resignations. NEWSIE politically malevolent was trying to make news with others throwing the balls than report it
      Make your own mind up.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 13

      • “Make your mind up”, I already have based on the lack of available information and the antics of the SNP at all levels!

        As to your bleating about an unanswered question (above), I say pot and kettle.

        As one example I would pose a recent TV program where Mr. Swinney was asked a direct question and spoke at length about a completely different question – pot and kettle.

        As a second example I will go back in time on this site when a certain Anne Baird stated that no school should be closed without the agreement of the parents of all pupils. Simon then asked her if no library or swimming pool should be closed without the agreement of all users. To the best of my recollection he never got an answer.
        Pot and kettle.

        All readers should be aware that much, if not all, of the guff from the Bravehearts results from SNP propoganda courses. As evidence for this I give you the disappearance of David Many Names, the learned Doc and Anne Baird, amongst others. I am sure they are still here and operating under different names but do not expect them to admit to the subtrefuge.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 22

        • Why the constant reference to “the Bravehearts”?
          It genuinely surprises me that someone with the literary skills of Newsie also uses this reference in a few of her denunciations of all things ‘YES’ (and ‘SNP’ too)
          I don’t know, is it supposed to be some sort of derogatory term to deliberately affiliate those who wish better for Scotland to an adaptation be it Americanised of a time in Scottish history?
          I’ve never seen it, the film disinterests me. I do however have a deep concern for this coutry and the folks I share it with.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

          • I read it as a reference to the mindless fanatics, for whom any criticism is treason – ‘Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die’ was Tennyson’s take on blind adherence to a cause, albeit demanded by military discipline.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 19

        • The use of “Braveheart” (99% by unionists) should be regarded as an automatic losing of an argument as overt reference to a certain German imperialist have been for many years :-)

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

      • Conservatives and journalists often have fixed ideas, adherence to accepted social norms and a lack of flexibility and humility which preclude them from being able to either apologise or see the other side of any position. FA manages to embody all these (non) attributes.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

          • True, the “Labour” party are just as bad, but then they are “conservatives” too. I imagine they there are a few in the SNP as well, but they haven’t managed to get the upper hand there yet – and the SNP will be gone soon after independence. (It is also more fun teasing the tories – but no fun with newsie – it shamefully wastes potentially good FA space to have it devoted to her bigoted ravings).

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

          • I would have to disagree – ‘you imagine there are a few in the SNP’

            There are some from the SNP on this forum alone let alone elsewhere!

            It isn’t that uncommon an attribute in human beings to blindly defend whatever you believe in and I don’t think it is particularly prevalent in any political ideology above another. If there was some way of quantifying it (which there obviously isn’t) I wouldn’t be at all surprised if every party has approximately the same percentage of members.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

  4. I see that fat face Salmond has now got to get his face in to the news conference on the helicopter crash in Glasgow rather than leave it to the professionals as happens in most other places. What will he not do for publicity.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 32

      • Yes H, you’ve fairly “Shrekked” his argument! Sorry, I meant. “shredded”, of course,

        Alas, much as I hate to agree with you about this, top politicians have no option but to show face around this sort of thing. With the possible exception of serious family tragedy, irrespective of what they must pass up to do so, they have to show face, look grave and make appropriate noises about how it must never be allowed to happen again.

        And if they didn’t turn up to see the scene for themselves, apart from the obvious sense indoing so, their careers would be “toast”.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

    • Entirely appropriate he was there

      we have had Milliband on tele Cameron tweeting. Even Cllr Matheson thanked the FM on tele.

      The emergency services are still at work and yet you make a cheap in fact very cheap political point

      Hope they find survivors. Congrats to the people who assisted and the emergency services

      Of all political persuasion and none.

      Sceptic rethink your post?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

      • Hear hear. Not a time for distasteful political point scoring. And all credit to Jim Murphy and all the other passer bys who rushed to help without a thought of their own safety.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

      • For the first but possibly not the last time I agree with H2O, just this PM found out that our son was OK he was one pint and five minutes away from the pub concerned, all speakers shed their politics and spoke from their ” broken hearts” it’s all to do with perspective, my son and my nephew are OK but as I type I have a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye for all else concerned! PS who’s this god person that’s been introduced ???

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

        • I also had to call my son to check he was OK. This is a pub I know he goes to when he is in Glasgow and he is presently at the nautical college just across the river and was out celebrating his last written exam last night. He was not there but he is very concerned that many of those from the college will have been.
          Scotland is a small country and a tragedy like this will affect many people. Everybody will know somebody who was affected by this event. You hear of tragedies all over the world and think only briefly of those affected. The further away it is, the less you are concerned.
          I remember the horror of the Dunblane shooting where a member of my family was among those killed. I also remember the Ibrox disaster many years ago where I knew one of the victims. You think that that is not the sort of thing which happens in Scotland. Unfortunately it does and this tragedy shows that it will again. The response of others to these events is what comforts survivors and families affected. Everybody should be thinking not just of those killed and injured and their families, but of those who helped afterwards. They will also have been much affected by the events of last night.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    • “Fat face Salmond?”. As First Minister it is right that he should appear and make a statement. It was also right that Anas Sarwar, as the local Labour MP, should appear, and Jim Murphy, a Labour MP who was near the scene when it happened, and helped in the rescue. Also, Gordon Matheson, the Glasgow Council leader who is also Labour. At this tragic time, what was the point you were trying to make with your stupid comments? Almost as bad are those who thumbed up your comment. Some people are just beyond the pale.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 6

    • I heard a hell of a lot from Anas Sarwar, a man who is not the FM of Scotland. Cameron also responded appropriately AS DID SALMOND

      Full credit to Jim Murphy for acting as a decent human being should-though I won’t be voting Labour EVER!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  5. If a man turned up at your door and said that you should cancel that insurance policy you’ve had with the UK for all these years because it no longer suits your circumstances. That you should switch to his insurance policy which would cover every conceivable risk that you might encounter, including your children’s future, and it wouldn’t cost you any more. Not only would there be no “excess”, there would be “cash back”. He assures you that, although the policy is entirely new and has never been tested, the switch would be seamless and that nothing could possibly go wrong. You know the man has a track record of being less than entirely honest and that he is desperate to get his new venture off the ground. Would you “buy it” or think “if something sounds to good to be true it probably is ” ?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 41

    • Far from “saying it all”, it’s a rather ludicrous attempt at analogy which adds nothing to either side of the debate.

      The “analogy” is, in fact, wholly spurious and as a consequence is literally irrelevant.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 20

      • To anyone not seeking independence I think the analogy with an unsolicited call from a salesman is entirely appropriate. You readily dismiss the content but do not say in what way any of it is irrelevant. Just saying it is doesn’t make it so, although the White Paper often makes the same mistake.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 35

        • Not my job to prove or disprove the adequacy of someone else’s analogy. It’s YOUR analogy which you wrongly seem to believe should be taken seriously, that it simplifies appropriately a very complex set of propositions. It fails to do so. That’s it. Back to you.

          To repeat, it is a spurious analogy and consequently it is irrelevant and adds nothing to either side of the debate.

          It might find favour with people who would prefer their political analyses to be presented at the level of over-simplified smart-alecky pub chat, I’ll give you that much.

          One concept you used though, which I assume is not limited to the context of your allegory since you repeat it, is “unsolicited”, and this does have direct relevance in the context of the referendum. Explain please, what is “unsolicited” about the referendum; in real world terms, that is.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 15

          • Only to those who harbour a gripe against democracy and the rights of majority governments to implement their manifesto commitments. If they don’t like the system that put them there, they should say so, but it’s pointless to dress their argument in tripe. It doesn’t work.

            And as for standards, no, I’ve no intention of falling into the trap of trading ping pong jibes over the content and semantics of a cheap, irrelevant allegory.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

          • A considerable number of posters dislike the actions of the “majority” Coalition government in London, does that mean they have “a gripe against democracy”?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

      • I think the analogy is very fair for that is what we are being asked to do.

        I can kind of accept the argument that separation would mean that decisions affecting Scotland would be taken in Scotland. One of the problems is who would be taking the decisions

        The SNP? Too much chicanery.

        The Labour Party? Already, unfortunately, ineffective as the Opposition in Holyrood.

        The Tories ? Hellfire and snowball territory and this despite Ms. Goldie’s clearly respected input to the debate.

        The Liberals – The most misunderstood party in UK politics at present. They have been incapable of justifying their role in the Westminster coalition.

        Who indeed?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 30

        • I think most people understand the Liberals – they understand that they will promise anything to get into power, then go back on as many promises as it takes to remain in power.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

          • Kasandra, you make my point – you do not understand what coalition is all about.

            There are two parties in the current one, the larger partner has more say in policy than the smaller one, this is called democracy. The result is the Libs do not get all they want and neither do the Tories.

            To say the Libs will do anything to hold onto power is disingenuous. The Labour party refused to consider a coalition with the Tories or the Libs for that matter so I think it is to the credit of the Libs that they entered into talks with the Tories which avoided a minority government or worse no government. They had the courage to make the voters’ choices of MPs work.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 20

        • OK JimB, if you are prepared to accept the deficiencies in the abilities of the political parties here in Holyrood what does it say about the two main political parties operating who have contributed to overseeing, permitting UK’s frightening and unserviceable £1.3 trillion national debt?
          This works out at £20.978 debt for every man woman and child in the UK, £35.773 for every taxpayer both rapidly increasing.

          ” The truth however is much worse, factoring in all liabilities including state and public sector pensions, the real national debt is closer to £4.8 trillion, some £78,000 for every person in the UK.” ref. ‘National debt clock’

          Due to the Government’s significant budget deficit, the national debt is increasing by approximately £121 billion per annum, or around £2.3 billion each week.

          Only this year the UK’s credit rating was downgraded from AAA to Aa1

          So if this is a reflection of the abilities, how responsible the superior Westminster parties are with their poor stewardship of our economy I know who’s hands I would prefer to give this responsibility to.
          I’ll give you a clue, it’s not those utterly spineless irresponsible ones who allowed this debt to reach levels an IMF may one day be stepping in to bail out, and don’t for one minute think that is pie in the sky. The UK in 1976 asked the IMF for a 2.6 Billion bailout, back then a mammoth sum.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

          • I hold Gordon Brown entirely responsible for the banks crashing in the UK with his “regulation with a light touch” despite Alastair Darling’s pleas for more control. Gordon, in the days of prudence was,I think, a good chancellor but then he lost his way. At least the coalition is doing something about trying to control the national debt even if I do not agree with some of their policies (tax cuts for the wealthy being one obvious one).

            I understand little of macro economics these days. How you can expect to get the economy sorted out by penalising savers while encouraging feckless spenders is beyond me. It certainly would not work on a domestic scale.

            I well remember the 1976 bailout and the rampant inflation – the 30% annual pay rise that soon lost its value, the endless strikes the 3 day week etc. – I was there. I would not be surprised if it came to pass again. Where we differ is your faith in the ability of the SNP to solve the problem in Scotland.

            Indeed the White Paper’s wish list of better Child Care in Scotland is a classic example.

            This is a devolved responsibility and there is money in the Block Grant to cover it. Apparently childcare in England is far ahead of that in Scotland where priorities are different apparently. The SNP has the legal power and the finances to improve things today – independence is not required.

            This chicanery does not inspire me with confidence I am afraid.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 18

          • “Where we differ is your faith in the ability of the SNP to solve the problem in Scotland”
            Jim, you are incorrect here.
            What is it people do not grasp here? Maybe you haven’t been on this site long enough to understand where I come from in this debate, maybe you are just not paying attention I don’t know.
            Firstly.
            “Solve the problem in Scotland”
            It’s plural Jim, you do mean problems don’t you?
            Secondly
            I do not believe the SNP will solve Scotland’s many problems, it’s independence that will give us a chance to begin reversing the decline. Why? for loads of reasons I and many on here have been listing for donkeys. I reluctantly support the SNP in many ways as they are the only mode of transport capable of taking me to my constitutional destination. When we arrive, be it in 2014 or the next time (which it will) I will vote for a genuinely Scottish focused political party (which in theory could be any) that I believe will utilise the massively influential new powers we will have gained.
            Thirdly and finally
            SNP are not on the referendum ballot paper, I guarantee you, I’ll gladly put my mortgage on it. It gets ridiculously tedious this deliberate twinning of a vote for Scotland becoming an independent country voting for the SNP.
            It’s dead easy, the SNP brought the referendum to the table as promised. They are being asked what an independent Scotland will look like, in return providing firstly evidence that we can and secondly their (the SNP’s) vision of how they would like it to operate, not necessarily how it is going to be, that’ll finally after 400 years be up to the people who live here.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

          • JnrTick,

            Was there any cross party collaboration on the White Paper? I doubt it, not least because none of the other parties has a vision for an independent Scotland.

            I admire you for your commitment in trying to persuade us that a Yes vote is not a yes for the SNP. I’ve countered you countless times, and will continue, because I fundamentally disagree with your assertion.

            The White Paper is proof that a Yes vote is a vote for the SNP. The reason is fairly simple – none of the other main political parties wish independence, and therefore none of them have a view to be considered officially. Do you think that overnight the Labour party will produce a credible alternative for an independent Scotland? Pigs will fly.

            The White Paper is effectively an SNP wish list, with a suitable number of caveats.

            When Scottish politics have matured, and the key parties are all broadly supportive, and input collectively into a White Paper or their own version for the benefit of the country, then, and only then, will you convince me that a vote Yes is not a vote for the SNP.

            Vote Yes – Vote for the SNP because there is no-one else to vote for!

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          • Jamie

            I find your argument to be naïve in the extreme.

            Cross-party collaboration on the White Paper? Why would there be?

            If voting ‘Yes’ is a vote for the SNP are you seriously expecting a one party state should we become independent? Of course not, the other parties will regroup and hopefully reform tailoring their political ideologies to best suit a different electorate.

            Surely as a died in the wool unionist even you can work out why none of the main Scottish political parties have contributed towards the White Paper nor want independence. Well, they say now they do not want Scotland to run her own affairs but these same parties will happily sell their goods to the Scottish electorate post ‘YES’ which is why I say a ‘YES’ vote is a vote for political parties whos aims and aspirations are for the betterment of the country they serve, Scotland.
            It’s not difficult Jamie

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          • JnrTick, I sense you have misread my post somehow.

            I’m fully aware that none of the other parties have a vision post Yes. And I don’t think i’m being naive – had more parties been on board for independence, then we could have had a White Paper with a bit more imagination, or if we have to stick strictly to the rules, we would have had similar papers from the other parties.

            We would have had competing visions of the future for Scotland, and the comfort that it was not a ‘one party’ choice. In that scenario, a vote Yes would genuinely be a vote for Scotland to self govern, and in the knowledge that we could choose which party to govern. As it stands, the only vision for Yes is the SNP one. Which, despite aspiring to a lot and promising much, is so fanciful as to be unrealistic.

            That cannot be difficult to acknowledge surely?

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      • pm says It might find favour with people who would prefer their political analyses to be presented at the level of over-simplified smart-alecky pub chat, I’ll give you that much.

        There’s that superior attitude back again. We need to avoid the ‘smart-alecky pub chat’ or risk alienating pm from the conversation…

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    • Isn’t the insurance policy held by the uk person at the door not worth the paper already !

      Just like PPI
      Endowment policies
      Pensions

      Look forward to the up beat BT paper on why we should stay with Westminster. Mind you it will be written with invisible ink and have an IOU.!

      No doubt it will tell us the old story

      We need billions for nuclear weapons
      Pay for prescriptions
      Tuition fees
      Budget will be cut
      Less Scottish mp’s in Westminster less representation
      Millionaires more tax breaks
      Out of EU

      Must have missed some

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      • H2O, if you have missed some, just keep that vivid imagination going and make up some more. After all the only one that is actually true is on nuclear weapons, the rest is just supposition to suit your cause…

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        • “Out of the EU” could be a winner, though, I think that’s probably a big thing anwhere that fishing, for example, means anything – after all, it’s only the capitalists who would want to stay in for the commercial markets, isn’t it, most people detest all the petty rubbish about straight bananas being no good, etc., (shrug) non?

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    • Digger: If a man (or woman) turned up at your door and said “I represent 14 million people in the south-east of England, but trust me, we have the best interests of the 5 million people in Scotland close to our hearts and will always make any sacrifice to our well being (no matter how detrimental to ourselves) to make sure that Scotland flourishes” – would you believe him/her? “Well digger, do you feel lucky?”

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        • Naturally, but how small can a country be and still be viable – I can’t see Argyll at the UN, but I can see Scotland – if we can get rid of the Tory South of England.

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          • Hmm, let’s see? Scotland at the UN – population five million?

            China -1.4 billion
            India – 1.3 billion
            United States -320 million
            Indonesia – 240 million

            I suppose there’s a chance some of them might know there’s a place somewhere called Scotland.

            Let’s not forget Ronald Regan couldn’t answer where Turkey was – and still is – when it was a US NATO ally on the border of the Soviet Union.

            With a population of 75 million, currently 18th largest in the world!

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          • How about Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Merino, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Bermuda, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, etc., etc.?

            Falkland Islands? Need I go on?

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      • Kassandra – If your suggestion is correct then the UK government would be spending more per capita on the population of SE England, which of course they don’t. The present system can be improved, but at least it is tried and tested and I prefer it to the SNP’s fantasy economics.
        Take for example the “game-changer” of free child care, which we are told will cost £4,600 per child per year and will eventually become self financing. It is not to be implemented just now because the “hundreds of millions” of extra tax would flow to Westminster.
        1. Some women will not want to go to work ( some may be wealthy ), but will still get FCC. This will generate no additional tax.
        2. Some women will already be working with grandparents looking after the children. This will generate no additional tax.
        3. Some women will be higher or middle income earners, already working and paying for child care. This will generate no additional tax and this category don’t need FCC.
        4. The final category will be potential lower income and minimum wage earners. If they go to work part-time that will not generate any additional tax. Even if they go to work full-time there will be little additional tax. The Personal Allowance will be more than £10,000 and it’s the Lib Dem’s objective to get this up to the level of the minimum wage.
        5. One growth area would be guaranteed, the child care business, so we could well have women being paid to look after their own children.
        I am not saying that nothing needs done about child care, but this flagship policy has not been thought through or properly costed. That hardly inspires confidence, and this is supposed to be the “game-changer” !

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        • It’s not simply a question of spending – it’s a question of direction. Do you want your NHS to be privatised? Do you want our national monuments and buildings to be owned and administered by private, for-profit non-accountable bodies, as the tories are proposing for England? Do you want every public asset to be sold off for the benefit of bankers and other assorted w@ankers who will enrich themselves at our expense, impoverish our lives and our heritage and then swan off to the Bahamas with their riches? Do you want workers to have their rights stripped from them, workloads increased, pensions reduced etc. etc.and not be able to do a thing about it as your vote counts for very little?
          Well, thats the way it’s going down south, driven mainly (although not exclusively) by tory voters in south-east England and the LibDems, who let these semi-fascist tory creeps into power. If you don’t want these things the only hope is a yes vote. A no vote will encourage them to do the same up here, and it won’t be easy to stop it.

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          • Kassandra – I point out that a flagship policy is shot full of holes. You ignore that factual analysis and respond with more uncosted aspirations and abuse of the English. I would like to think that any responsible supporter of independence would distance themselves from the tone of your response. I certainly won’t be engaging with you again.

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  6. I expect to see much, much, more of this “oh yes he did”, and “oh no didn’t”, between now and the referendum.

    Accusation and counter-accusation will descend upon us like a plague from God.

    Somehow we, the voters, will have to cut through this froth and vote with both our heads and our hearts. At least I now know, warts and all, what the vision is for independence – what I don’t know is what the vision is for continued membership of the UK: other than more of the same – erosion of public services, gaping inequality and the UKIP/Tory baying to leave Europe. The Lib-Dems are almost irrelevant whilst Labour have not in any way set the heather on fire national nor presented appealing, realistic alternatives.

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  7. Integrity? says:
    November 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Well, you would hope Labour would move leftwards, but I would’t hold my breath – they’ve got into the habit of being “right”. Also, I don’t see why the SNP would continue to exist after independence – they would have achieved their goal. Then – “let a thousand flowers blossom”

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    • I don’t imagine SNP will be going anywhere after independence.

      Do you honestly believe that the SNP politicians are all altruistic and are only together in a party to deliver independence and then stand aside to let someone else run the new country?

      I very much doubt that and also wouldn’t blame them for a second. They are of the belief that their policies are the best ones for Scotland so why get the opportunity to fully implement them but choose to let a different party implement their ideas?

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      • Look at the evidence, Mike Russell is obviously setting the scene for a new “Independents Party” in Argyll, irrespective of whether the vote is “Yes” or “No”?

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  8. May I interrupt this polemic re-enactment of Bannockburn to point out that all the pontification in this thread may well be irrelevant, given the news imparted in the other story here about the “Our Islands, Our Future” campaign which you are all blithely ignoring, even though the likely consequences are chamge of odds from Bannockburn to Flodden.

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    • How so? And, anyway, who’s invoking a ‘Bannockburn’ re-enactment?

      My reading of the OIOF campaign proposals suggests that there’s nothing drastic about them.

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      • The OIOF proposals were, indeed, polite and at face value, undemanding as they tested the water at the outset – no point in antagonising people unnecessarily.

        They hold the key, however, to a resource-laden, strategic area in a commanding position in the North Atlantic and both London and Holyrood are aware of that.

        OIOF therefore is negotiating with two bidders who are both very keen to hang on to the seas and islands in the northern UK and I’m content to watch developments with interest.

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  9. An interesting article on newsnetscotland – I love the spin they put on articles, it’s usually more interesting than that article itself, especially if you’ve read other sources for the same story. It seems like Alex Salmond is admitting to either taking his decision from the web, or if NNS are to believe, from a news blog site publishing articles from any Nationalist they can find or who they can afford to pay (they do acknowledge occasionally that they pay for contributions).

    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8411-lifted-from-the-internet-the-poisoning-of-the-independence-debate

    The bottom line is this – there is nothing in the letter to support Mr Salmond’s claim anyway. All it says is that it is ‘legally possible’ to negotiate from within. That’s it. ‘legally possible’. Frankly, it means not a lot, no matter the source.

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    • Jamie, I tend as a ‘YES’ supporter (and ‘SNP member) not to frequent the site, not because of how partisan it is but because it purports to be a ‘News’ site.
      News should be just that, the reporting of facts free from bias imo.

      For a more forensic analysis of the side of events you despise I suggest visiting Wings over Scotland who back up their observations of what Better Together and the ‘NO’ campaign claim in a concise, detailed and rational format. Even the most sceptical ‘NO’ voters must surely wince questioning their stance in this debate.

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      • JnrTick if I despised the other side of the story, then i would not visit these sites. I am interested in the other side of the debate. I just find so often that nns clutch at straws to please their own. Recently they allowed someone to post an article questoning indy in it’s current form (from a pro-independence person) and you should have seen the criticism he got from almost all. It said a lot that the Yes side simply cannot accept that their campaign is fundamentally flawed now.

        As for Better Together, well, I can tell you I have no loyalty there. The way they are going about their campaign is very poor – in fact I unsubscribed from their emails after about the fifth ‘they’ll say anything’ email.

        As for ‘legally possible’ – many things are legally possible. Does not mean they will, are likely to or certainly will happen. Just because something is ‘legally possible’, it’s not really a comittment to anything, almost the contrary, it’s a deliberate avoidance of saying whether it is likely.

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  10. Huge support for YES in Helensburgh today.
    Many new campaigners signed up. People are buying the White Paper and really keen to engage. The YES gazebo was buzzing all day. By contrast U-KOK was a miserable half hearted affair.

    Time to take bets on Jackie Baillie jumping ship in New Year.

    Interesting analogy with insurance. The Telegraph reported last year that if you pay the same premiums on your pension policy in the Netherlands and the UK you get 50% more in pension in the Netherlands.

    Another reason to vote YES.

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    • “IN the unlikely event that anyone on here is interested in the truth behind this travesty of a story may I commend you all to this Newsnet Scotland article:

      ‘Lifted from the internet’ – The poisoning of the independence debate

      (Jamie, you won’t instantly turn into a rabid cyberNat if you take a peek. Go on,. I dare you) ”

      Oh Longshanks dearest, do keep up. See my post of November 30th @ 2203….

      What was your point going to be? I probably post more links to NNS on here than all the Nationalists put together! As much as I admire NNS for their commitment to the cause, I think the ‘Undecideds’ should have a look and see what independence is borne out of – a lot of people who are bitter, paranoid and with a serious inferiority complex (at least, that’s what you’d think, I know it’s not true for all, but sometimes it’s hard to think otherwise).

      I know there are many who believe in indy because they truly think it is the best for Scotland. Sadly, these people are not heard as loudly as the anti-Westminster, anti-BBC, anti-’anything that’s not got a saltire on it’ brigade.

      That’s the Yes campaign’s loss, no-one else’s.

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        • Longshanks – the NNS article simply states it got a copy of the email from a member of the public, hardly legally binding as Mr Salmond appeared to imply.

          Maybe I have it wrong but I don’t think anyone is really saying that Scotland couldn’t apply to join the EU as a new state or that it would be refused membership but as the email does say it would require new treaties which would have to be agreed by all member states and absolutely nowhere does it say that Scotland would be admitted under the same conditions as the UK has at present.

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          • East Germany joined the EU without a problem as the Berlin Wall came down. Overnight they were part of a New greater Germany. The original West Germany disappeared. No discussion about the New Germany having to apply as a new country. Why? Because West Germany was already a member although it had been subsumed into a new national state.

            The EU will do as the bureaucrats do turn a blind eye to problems and do what they believe is in their interests. Scotland in the EU is in their interest as well as England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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          • Wasn’t that the opposite of what is being proposed here?

            East Germany was joining a country which was already in the EU whereas the SNP is proposing Scotland should secede from an EU member country?

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          • For H20 and Andrew Argyle: It’s an interesting argument, though – because it does set a precedent that has to be germane.
            It saw one member state effectively add another to the EU members’ slate without the need for involvement in the accession process.
            In discussions/negotiations with the EU, this would have to have a value as a form of precedent.
            Political organisations are always pragmatic on such issues. They do what suits them or what they need to do, rather than go by any rules.
            IN this case, West Germany was – and is – the economic engine of the EU. It calls the shots. And if it wanted to expand, it would be taking the financial hit itself, within or outwith the EU – so who would obstruct its wish?
            The sheer courage and will of West Germany to accept so massive a challenge in just including the east – and then making the reunited country work with such economic and infrastructural disparities – remains one of the major landmarks of our time.
            We have always said that, whatever the rules, if Scotland were to vote Yes and then to pursue EU membership, there is no certainty as to the outcome either way. It would depend on where the internal balance of interests lay at the time.
            It is quite possible that an indy Scotland could carry on as is.
            It would, though, certainly have to join the eurozone, That would be the payoff. There might be more room on Schengen but in the interests of the very troubled EU, the euro adoption would have to be an immovable requirement. [Why is the SNP set on EU membership? It makes no sense given the very flaky eurozone and the impact its far from improbable collapse would have on the EU.]
            The sticking point would be Spain, which has the Basques and Cataluna to lose.

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          • JB
            The point is West Germany a member of the EU ceased to exist.
            New state.
            In fact East Germany would not have met the entrance criteria economically or politically post Stasi – secret police.
            Mind you from the East came Merkyl who worked with Kohl.
            How’s Germany these days as an independent nation despite giving up the Deutchmark to be part of a monetary union with others.
            From DW Deutch
            Newcomer states are nothing new
            The European Union is familiar with accession, because 21 of the current 27 members only joined the union after its formation in 1957. Finland has the record for the fastest application process: it signaled its desire to join the bloc in 1992 and became a member just three years later.
            The former East Germany experienced probably the most unusual entry to the EU – it became a member overnight when the German Democratic Republic was unified with West Germany on October 1, 1990. There were no formal talks, but the German government managed to convince skeptical states such as the UK……
            Of course unlike East Germany Scotland and its peoples are already within the EU. No EU country has been thrown out.
            I have had to add here as opposed to respond to NEWSIE
            Based on previous arguments that the EU Rules are sacrosanct and must be followed would BT supporters accept based on the entrance criteria the NEW Germany was admitted without due process as it was a NEW state.
            East Germany did not on its own meet the requirements and yet overnight became an EU member.
            Financially Greece etc were accepted into the euro zone based on falsifications.
            Scotland already a member of Europe would be thrown out although there is no case of this happening

            East Germany and West Germany were 2 separate countries according to the UN and the EU
            BT supporters please explain without trying to put Scotland down.

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          • h20 in relation to East and West Germany -”the reunification was not a merger that created a third state out of the two, but an incorporation, by which West Germany effectively absorbed East Germany.” – Wikipedia.
            In other words unified Germany was not a new state as you claim.

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          • Agreed, Newsie.

            Other issues come into play, too. The EU is expansionary, having its eye on, among other things, a United States of Europe and, returning from Soviet oppression, the East European countries were attractive potential recruits with East Germany in the vanguard; an independent Scotland, already relatively prosperous, would also be attractive.

            Politicians are, indeed, pragmatic, expediency being the standing order of the day. Is it possible to imagine France or anyone else telling the West Germans they weren’t allowed to bring their long-lost eastern brothers into the “EU family”? The Germans would have had no option but to leave the EU which would then have collapsed. So while there is a sort of vague precedent, Scotland doesn’t have the clout that West Germany had during the tidal wave of emotion which accompanied the fall of the Berlin Wall. And far from leaving the EU if Scotland were refused entry, there is a decent possibility that the rUK will leave the EU, anyway.

            The issue isn’t whether Scotland would be accepted by the EU, it’s whether the terms of joining would be sufficiently favourable for Scotland to wish to join. The SNP seem to believe, as they do with sterling and the rUK, that the EU will just roll over in their desperation to keep Scotland on board. Neither has Scotland the clout Thatcher Britain had in the 1980s to claw back the UK’s disadvantageous terms of entry.

            The Icelandic people recently voted in a new government with a mandate immediately to withdraw its EU membership application, why? They are unwilling to give up their territorial rights i.e. fishing, for the financial security on offer from the EU whose largesse is currently being visited on the Greeks.

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          • Re entering the EU
            In 1972 the German Democratic Republic was admitted to the United Nations..
            So East and West Germanies were separate states
            The new state of Germany entered the EU overnight as referred to other posts.

            West Germany + East Germany (did not meet economic or political criteria)

            Become the new post Cold War state of Germany ( different borders than nazi Germany started with)

            Therefore is New Nation State accepted overnight.

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      • “I know there are many who believe in indy because they truly think it is the best for Scotland. Sadly, these people are not heard as loudly as the anti-Westminster, anti-BBC, anti-’anything that’s not got a saltire on it’ brigade”

        Jamie

        It is ludicrous to attempt to divorce anti-Westminster sentiment from those who want what is best for Scotland, that being independence.

        Who is to blame for all that is wrong within Scotland Jamie, the SNP?

        Which government has the most influential powers, prioritises revenue, decides foreign policy etc.?

        These powers if in the right hands have the potential to be huge real game changers and anyone who wants an independent Scotland knows what Westminster does for Scotland with these influential powers just isn’t good enough.

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        • Westminster is to blame for ‘all that is wrong in Scotland’? They were responsible for the Edinburgh Trams debacle? They made a pigs ear of the Dunoon ferry procurement? Or the Kilcreggan Ferry? They have frozen council tax thus enforcing cuts on local services? Twas Westminster that made a complete balls of Scottish education through meddling and never admitting they got it wrong? The same Westminster are to blame for the ongoing saga with the West Coast ferries? Are they to blame for the closure of Police Station counters across Scotland, or the closure of local courts? It is Westminster that are planning to remove one of the key safeguards in Scots Law that make it one of the fairest and well respected in the world?

          No JnrTick, these things lie with the Scottish Government, so I think it’s faurly accurate to say that Westminster are most certainly not to blame for ‘all that is wrong in Scotland’. I think most reasonable people can see that.

          Anyone who thinks it is, must be incredibly naive, or just incredibly bitter.

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          • If in that list it is all you believe are the problems within Scotland then no wonder you are content to vote ‘NO’!
            In your list I couldn’t help but notice the glaring omission of what is really wrong in Scotland such as the many deprived areas where thousands live in poverty, old folks choosing between eating or heating. We see diminishing services, hospitals winding up, threats of school closures folding before our very eyes whilst we a fellow citizens sit and watch on impotently unable to have little or no influence.
            That is until 2014.
            Jamie, it’s all very well citing mainly parochial matters of discontent but try looking at the bigger picture. You may be oblivious to some of the issues I have mentioned that blight Scotland, you may have a reasonably comfortable life tucked away down here on the west coast, I don’t know, but it does not mean that these
            real social problems don’t exist, they do. What do you suggest Scotland does to turn things around?
            You once asked “what’s in it for me?” a while back. A far more prosperous, equal and fairer Scotland will benefit you too you know.
            And btw, you can advise me that the other countries within the UK have these very same problems but do we in Scotland wait another 50, 100, 200 years until they decide to make the policy changes required to treat the rot or do we in Scotland set the wheels in motion leading by example?

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          • JnrTick, regarding your post at 1109, I just wanted to check if you have since edited it to remove reference to Shettleston?

            I’m fairly certain that in your ignorance of where I live, you suggested I visit there, although if it was on a different post, please let me know and we can pick up the rejection of the SNP in that location that you had used as an example.

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          • You’ve lost me Jamie?

            My reference to Shettleston was one of hundreds of examples I could cite to highlight that all is not well in Scotland.

            As for where you live, I couldn’t care less but as you post on a site dedicated to Argyll issues I would have thought it a reasonable assumption you live in Argyll where unlike the social deprivation in places such as Shettleston, Wester Hailes etc etc etc is nowhere near as concentrated.

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          • Lost JnrTick? Did you remove your reference to Shettleston then? You told me I should take a trip there to see deprivation, with the clear hint that the SNP would solve their problems. In a very cynical move, you removed the reference possibly when you saw the SNP got a drubbing yet again and in that very area. Sounds like Shettleston are not buying the promises peddled by the SnP, no?

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          • I don’t know.

            Leaving posts open for editing indefinitely makes it too easy for people to rewrite history on this site.

            Most sites limit editing to a finite time period or until there has been a reply.

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          • Jamie mate, your barking up the wrong tree here.
            I did cite Shettleston in one of my posts indeed. I genuinely don’t know which post and the article it pertains to as I post quite a lot on here.
            What I will categorically tell you is that under no circumstances have I edited any post of mine and never do. One or two times immediately after I have hit the enter button to submit my post I have noticed a typo and edited seconds after submitting, never anything other than that. Everything I type I mean, I regret nothing in any of my posts, fact.
            If you persist I will go and find the post you refer to just to clamp you up then I will demand an apology.
            Btw I couldn’t care less which party got drubbed as you so eloquently put it and if it is still under Labour control then no wonder it lags behind many other areas in Scotland.
            My point was that in a Scotland where we do not have the powers to implement genuine change, create a real impact in turning around these areas, do we continue with a union that is not working for many here in Scotland.
            You unlike myself and many other pro-independence people have not once given a comprehensive explanation why Scotland should be controlled by another group of nations, why?

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          • JnrTick, I did say that if there reference was somewhere else, pleade point out. You should k ow by now that i put my hands up when I get it wrong.

            You’re right, I can’t understand why Scotland would want to be controlled by another group of nations, it’s beyond me. That the very reason I question Alex Salmond’s total commitment to the EU. It absolutely doesn’ t make sense for an independent Scotland to be controlled by the EU, does it? This was the group of nations you were referring to, right? :-p

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          • Jamie, when you think of the EU you think ‘control’.

            When I think of the EU I think ‘co-operation’.

            Perhaps you have read too many ‘straight banana’ stories?

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  11. Andrew Argyle says:
    December 1, 2013 at 12:17 am
    Andrew Argyle says:
    December 1, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Ronald Regan couldn’t tell you how many eyes he had, even if you asked him on a good day, but what’s it got to do with the price of fish?

    Your list of countries, large and small says nothing about anything. Are you seriously saying that Argyll is a viable … oh I see – just trolling eh?

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    • The Faroe Islands are viable with a population of 50,000 and they’re a lot more remote than Argyll. Nearer home, the Isle of Man is also viable with a rather higher population than Faroe.

      I’m not actually recommending Argyll secede, I think from memory I said they may well need to in order to gain equal status with the autonomy the islands might end up having.

      As I said to pm on another thread, I am “content to await developments” with interest – with my head out of the sand!

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      • Hang on there! The Faroes have home rule on internal affairs, but they’re far from independent, and I thought the Isle of Man (and the Channel Islands) seem to be in some sort of very British pockle whereby they enjoy a rather unenlightened form of democracy and total fiscal irresponsibility while having Westminster as a backstop in time of need.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

        • Hi hold on France and Germany have home rule but share a currency!
          Isnt the Isle of Man officially part of Scotland
          As for the size of countries in the UN the USA, France has 1 vote just as the Republic of Ireland has one vote.
          Argyle another stupid comment – unlike RUK no need for Ireland to have macho nuclear weapons in order to gain a spot in the security council even if they wanted to but don’t.

          Just macho wee Westminster and noeee’s types who hark back to Empire

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  12. Digger says:
    December 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm
    Abuse of the English? – I didn’t mention “English” just dwellers in south-east England – some of them might be tory scots (or chinese etc – for all I know). As for costing – how do you “cost” an outbreak of tory neo-fascism. Or are you trying to say these things aren’t happening? As for your “facts” – I have seldom seen a more irrelevant and boring set of statistics – what is to engage with. Try to write more clearly and to the point.
    Re your last comment, I think you are chicken, digger.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  13. Malcolm what a load of tosh.

    Your like a wee boy with a new toy.

    NEWSIE won’t be worried that you are self promoting. As a matter of interest where is the backdrop that you used? Does it exist?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  14. Aside from the perjorative title the following article in the FT is of interest:

    December 2, 2013 11:13 pm
    Fresh warning on Scotland’s EU status
    By Mure Dickie in Edinburgh and James Fontanella-Khan in Brussels

    EU states and institutions would be legally obliged to launch negotiations on Scotland’s status in the EU if Scottish nationalists win next year’s vote on independence from the UK, according to a former judge at the European Court of Justice.
    Talks could not be delayed until after Scotland’s separation from the UK because this would lead to the “totally unacceptable situation” of a part of the EU being plunged into legal limbo, said Sir David Edward, who was British judge at the Luxembourg court from 1992 to 2004.
    Whether and how an independent Scotland could retain EU membership has become a key battleground in campaigning ahead of next September’s referendum.
    The issue is also of interest to other EU states with independence-minded regions such as Spain.
    There are no provisions in EU treaties for the separation of part of a member state, but Scotland’s governing Scottish National party said in a white paper last week that membership could be negotiated ahead of its proposed independence day of March 24 2016.
    José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, has said an independent Scotland would automatically find itself outside the EU and would have to apply to rejoin as a new state.
    The warning was reiterated last week by Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, whose government is facing calls for independence from Catalan nationalists.
    Sir David argues that it would be against the spirit and intention of EU treaties to deprive part of the union and its citizens of membership. Doing so would cast into doubt a complex web of economic and social relationships ranging from fishing rights to student exchange programmes.
    “If nothing is done by March 2016, then there is a totally unacceptable situation,” said Sir David, a Scot who says he favours remaining within the UK. “All the recent discussion presupposes that nothing happens until the moment of separation. My simple argument is that is absurd.”
    “There is in EU law an obligation on the UK and all other EU member states and institutions to negotiate the terms of the relationship between Scotland, the rest of the UK and the EU after Scottish independence,” he said.
    Mr Barroso has not commented on the practicalities of cutting Scotland out of the EU, but some European law experts also believe an independent Scotland could achieve near-seamless accession resulting from negotiations started well before independence day.
    All the recent discussion presupposes that nothing happens until the moment of separation. My simple argument is that is absurd – Sir David Edward
    Views of how this could be achieved vary widely. Sir David says the correct approach would be negotiating a change to EU treaties that could allow Scotland continuing membership. The UK government would have to represent both Scotland and the remaining UK in such talks.
    Many officials and experts in Brussels dismiss such a route, saying treaty change would be legally and practically impossible and Scotland would have to apply as a new member.
    However, some Brussels experts say that with political will, informal negotiations following the referendum could allow the terms of EU entry to be agreed before independence.
    “It’s certainly very challenging but not impossible [to hold informal talks before Scotland becomes independent], said a senior EU official, who described such a situation as “uncharted territory”.
    Any process of EU membership for Scotland would require agreement of all 28 member states, which many EU officials say could be impossible as the Spanish government would regard quick Scottish membership as an encouragement to Catalonia to follow a similar path.
    However, Spain has stopped short of saying it would veto membership for Scotland and has highlighted that Scottish independence would come with the approval of the UK government, which has endorsed next year’s referendum. Madrid says Catalonia is constitutionally barred from leaving Spain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  15. Ian Anderson – Fully agree it would be absurd to wait until 2016 to hold negotiations for Scotland’s admission to the EU following a yes vote, however from the information you have supplied it is clearly not going to be as straight forward as some people want to make out.

    “There are no provisions in EU treaties for the separation of part of a member state”

    “Many officials and experts in Brussels dismiss such a route, saying treaty change would be legally and practically impossible and Scotland would have to apply as a new member.”

    “said a senior EU official, who described such a situation as “uncharted territory”.”

    What the information clearly states is that there is no precedent for such an eventuality.

    Also no one, apart from the SNP, has said that Scotland would be admitted to the EU with the same opt out clauses the UK has at present. This would appear to imply there is every likelihood that a precondition of admission to the EU would require Scotland to adopt the Euro.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

    • There is no requirement to join the Euro. It is up to the state to decide if they wish to join the ERMii. An SNP Government would not choose to join – see P223 of the White Paper. The scare stories about joining the Euro are just that. Unfortunately most of what the UK Government and BT say has very little merit.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

    • Also the whole tenor of the article says the EU membership issue is another scare story, but you have chosen to pick out from the article the caveats, rather than read the whole.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

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